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Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty - What We Know So Far

"Dynasty Warriors" meets "Elden Ring" in "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty." This upcoming title from Koei Tecmo won't be another "Warriors" game for an existing franchise, as with "Hyrule Warriors" and "Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes." Rather, the company is returning to the Soulslike genre with its current monopoly on video game adaptations of the famous 14th-century novel "Romance of the Three Kingdoms." The entry will take even further creative license with the historical setting than the bombastic drama in the "Dynasty Warriors" franchise, throwing demons into the mix of the collapsing empire and the onset of all-out war.

Players will take on the role of a nameless, desolate soldier in accordance with Soulslike conventions instead of an up-and-coming military leader as is the norm with video game adaptations of "Three Kingdoms." The story will revolve around "a militia soldier's strenuous fight for survival" rather than any grand attempt to unify a fractured empire, establishing an intriguing foundation for what a bleak, character-driven narrative will look like in the traditionally politics-driven high fantasy world.

Here's everything else we know about "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" so far.

Is there a release date for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?

According to the official website, "Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" is currently slated to launch in early 2023. Though there's no hard commitment on whether it will arrive in the first or second quarter, that's a fairly close release date for a game revealed in June 2022, meaning "Elden Ring" fans will soon have something new to jump into while waiting for potential DLC. Hopefully, prospective buyers will see a more concrete release date, along with some gameplay footage, closer to the end of the year. 

"Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" will come to most modern platforms (expect for the Nintendo Switch): PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via the Steam and Microsoft storefronts. It will also be available day one for Xbox Game Pass subscribers. There's currently no word on when pre-orders will open up or if they will include any incentives.

Is there a trailer for Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?

The one-minute announcement trailer showcases the dark and sordid take on classical Chinese fantasy. An attacking undead creatures follows a close-up shot of a corpse, firmly establishing the Soulsborne influence. Complete with a villainous voice-over, subsequent monstrous transformation of said villain, and intense action shots of the main character fighting an enemy general, it looks like "Wo Long" has perfectly captured the Soulslike atmosphere without sacrificing any of the setting's usual fantasy Wuxia flair. 

The trailer also features some of the demons and enemies the player will most likely face off against. Most notably, the closing moments tease the instantly recognizable figure of Lu Bu, one of the most formidable opponents in every Koei adaptation of the novel. The suggestion that the principal characters from "Romance of the Three Kingdoms" – or their popularized counterparts as known through the "Dynasty Warriors" series — will appear as bosses and opponents creates many exciting possibilities. The "Three Kingdoms" setting is a veritable library of iconic heroes, each with unique skillsets more than perfect for re-imagining into the epic, impossibly difficult bosses the Soulslike genre is known for.

For what seems like a strange combination at first, a mesh of "Three Kingdoms" with Soulslike conventions might be a match made in heaven after all.

What will the gameplay be like in Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty?

While the announcement trailer didn't showcase any gameplay, it's safe to assume that there won't be any of the kingdom-management mechanics that have — by nature of the original material's plot — featured in nearly every "Three Kingdoms" installment. It's unclear if you'll be able to customize your appearance or if you'll experience the story of a fully constructed character, as in "Sekiro."

A press release had a little more to say about the combat. The player will master various Chinese martial arts styles and swordsmanship strategies to utilize a mysterious "power from within." Apparently, the combat incorporates styles based on the "Wuxing," a traditional philosophical concept that separates the world into five elements or "Five Phases:" wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. It's unclear whether these elements are simply names for themed movesets or if the player will re-enact the elemental martial arts seen in the animated "Avatar" series, but it appears "Wo Long" will expand on the traditional Soulslike combat system to suit its setting.  

"Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty" is shaping up to be an unexpected but extremely compelling genre mix to shake up the well-established "Three Kingdoms" world.